The University of the Virgin Islands will hold its 45th Annual Commencement Ceremonies May 18 and 19, on the St. Thomas and St. Croix campuses, respectively. The St. Thomas campus ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 18, in the Sports and Fitness Center. The St. Croix campus ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 19, on the campus grounds.
The class speaker on the St. Thomas campus will be Rick S. Grant. The class speaker on the St. Croix campus will be Amaris N. Chew. The class speakers are selected by members of their class.
The keynote speaker for both campuses is the Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, the Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. In addition to his responsibilities as prime minister, Dr. Douglas holds the ministerial portfolios of Foreign Affairs, National Security and Immigration, Sustainable Development, and Minister of Tourism Sports and Sports. He is also CARICOM's spokesman on HIV/AIDS, and other related health matters and Human Resource Development. His contributions in the field of HIV/AIDS have been recognized by former United States Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Dr. Douglas also plays an active leadership role in many regional and international organizations, including the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, the United Nations, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. For his leadership and efforts, Dr. Douglas has received many honors and accolades including the University of the West Indies Legacy Award and the Trumpet Awards Global Award.
Dr. Douglas attended the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus in Barbados on a scholarship. He went on to medical school at the UWI Mona campus in Jamaica. Following his internship at Port of Spain General Hospital in Trinidad, Dr. Douglas opened a private family medicine practice in Basseterre and St. Paul's, St. Kitts. As a young professional, Dr. Douglas understood that politics was the way to bring about change for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. He became a formidable leader in the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party, and led the party to power in 1995. He won re-election in 2000 and 2004.
Admission to the St. Thomas campus ceremony is by ticket only. Parking on the St. Thomas campus will be available in the parking lots of the Reichhold Center, the Administration and Conference Center and the upper campus. Shuttle service will be provided to and from the Sports and Fitness Center. Only those with disability permits and special passes will be allowed to park in the Sports and Fitness Center parking lot.
In respect to all of the graduates, their families and friends, the use of air horns, whistles and other noisemakers will not be permitted at either ceremony.